31 January 2010
I’m writing to you because she said you could help and that you wouldn’t judge me or . . . care for that matter. She said you’d just listen and that’s what I need – someone to listen. So this is my life story, I’m not going to tell you the real names of any of the people I’m going to talk about because I don’t want you to find me. That’s also why I’m not including a return address on any of my letters. I guess the reason why I’m writing to you is because tomorrow is my first day of year eleven, and I’m kind of scared. I’ve been really messed up since my mum overdosed on sleeping pills and died.
I used to have friends to make everything okay, and make the transition from junior high school to senior high school easier, but James left and Candice stopped talking to me before the last holidays because she got too “mature” and starting hanging out with other guys. She doesn’t even say hello to me anymore.
I spent some time with a counsellor after my mum died, but she wasn’t any help to me at all. I think the reason I am writing to you is because I am hoping you will be able to help me because you are a similar age to me and you could relate. I’m really scared of going to school tomorrow. I guess it’s fair to say, I’m going to need all the luck I can be wished.
05 February 2010
My first week of school went okay. The school is strange, the year 13’s seem to think that it’s fun to pick on the new kids which was okay when it wasn’t me. Two year 13’s, which I later learnt were Brad and Andre, thought it would be fun to give me a swirly (a swirly is when one (or two in this case) person picks up another person and dips their head in a toilet and flushes so their hair swirls around) because I was better than them in English, even though there’s a massive age difference.
I made a friend, his is name is Logan. He’s pretty cool; I’m going to a party with him next Saturday. I’m really excited! I’ve been clear for two days since meeting Logan, no bad thoughts or anything. I think I might be getting better.
14 February 2010
That party rocked! I made more friends. There’s Elizabeth, she’s blonde, and pretty and funny and has amazing legs. Then there’s Hannah, she’s Elizabeth’s best friend, she too is pretty, not as pretty as Elizabeth, but still pretty. And then there’s Daniel, he’s the reason I met Elizabeth and Hannah. He’s got stormy grey eyes and cropped blonde hair with a tattoo on each arm, he’s a lot of fun to be around because he takes the piss out of everyone. I tried weed for the first time last night, it was crazy, I got so hungry I drank four smoothies and ate two pizzas – by myself. When Elizabeth found me I was raking leaves on the lawn. To clarify, it wasn’t my lawn.
“Hey Mark,” she spoke softly, “what are you doing?”
I looked up at her; I must’ve looked pretty wasted because she looked at me strangely
“I have to clean this lawn up otherwise my dad will get angry.”
“You know this isn’t your house, right?”
She was laughing so hard she almost fell over. I stared blankly at her, I couldn’t figure out what was so funny.
“What do you mean?” I said.
This made her laugh harder. “This is my house. You don’t have to rake leaves here.”
She took me under her arm and walked me to her car, placing me nicely in the passenger seat. I should clarify, Elizabeth and the rest of the people I have mentioned are all older than me, they’re in year 13, and I’m only year 11. I don’t remember much of the ride home because I got really tired and started drifting off. Every now and then Elizabeth would say something to keep me awake, but I think I was asleep most of the time. I woke up in my bed this morning. I have no idea how I got there.
28 February 2010
You have no idea how happy I am at the moment, I hang around with Elizabeth and Logan and the rest of them at school now, it’s fun, they think I’m pretty cool which makes me feel good. I now get stoned at least three times a week with them. It’s fun doing it with other people. We smoke cigarettes too, every day. We leave school to do it though, that’s probably the best part. We go all around town after we’ve chain smoked for a while. We go to movies and MacDonald’s or Subway, whatever we feel like, and then we go back to school with the whole day basically gone. I should mention that Elizabeth doesn’t do any of this with us. She stays at school and works and because of this she is at the top of her class. She still smokes cigarettes, but only after school before we part ways and head home. I like Elizabeth. I like her lots. I haven’t told her this, I don’t know if I should. What do you think? I might talk to Logan about it.
3 March 2010
I talked to Logan about Elizabeth, he thinks I should just leave it for the moment, he said Elizabeth has just had a bad break up and she’s still recovering. I’m going to do as he says. I got an excellence in writing for English, I was stoked, and I was the only one to get an excellence too. That makes me feel great. I’m still keeping up with work even though I’m never really at school. I just do it at home. I do not know what I’m going to do if my dad finds out I’m skipping school. There’s another party at Logan’s on Saturday, I’m excited. Sorry this letter is so short, I only had a little bit to tell you, but it couldn’t wait.
8 March 2010
My run of good luck has come to an end. My school sent a letter to my dad explaining that I had barely been in any of my classes. He smacked me three times on the head and bum. And screamed, and screamed. I was very scared. I can still hear his voice yelling at me in my head “you will not be skipping school, you hear me you little shit? If I hear you’ve been skipping school again I’m going to hit you so hard you’re going to be pissing blood for a month.” He grounded me and said I wasn’t allowed to go to Logan’s party. I went anyway. I snuck out my window after he went to bed. I have long drive way so Daniel and Hannah were able to meet me at the bottom. I jumped in Daniels car, smoke in hand. Daniel and Hannah both looked at me.
“Whoa, what happened to you?” They both said in unison, looking at the bruise on my left cheek.
“I tripped and smacked my face yesterday,” I lied.
They both laughed. “Klutz,” Daniel grinned.
I spent my first while at the party explaining to everyone what happed to my face. After that Elizabeth introduced me to her new boyfriend. Fuck. That’s all I thought, but I smiled and shook his hand firmly. His name is John, he works for Telecom. Those were his words; I just thought I’d use them. He said it smugly, like he is better than everyone else, with a glint in his dark eyes, flicking his long brown hair away from his face as he said it. I immediately left Elizabeth and John from Telecom alone and went to see Logan. He gave me magic mushrooms. Did you know they aren’t in the shape of actual mushrooms? No shit. All my life I thought they were actual mushrooms but they aren’t, they are a powder. They smell like mushrooms though, and made the tea Logan gave me taste like shit. At first I didn’t feel any different, but about twenty minutes after I drank that tea it hit me. I felt great, I was so happy and sad and giggly and the music sounded great and everything around me was so vibrant and occasionally I would see bunnies hopping across the floor and then they would be gone. This all happened at the same time. I started thinking about how much I liked Elizabeth and that made me happy. Then I thought about my dad and his beating he gave me and what he said afterwards and that made me sad, so I left the room and went outside. It was cold, I saw a dragon, but it wasn’t a dragon it was a tree and then a dragon, then a tree. It was lying to me. That made me sadder. I don’t know how long I was outside for but it must’ve been a while because eventually I fell asleep. I kept looking at a street light that was moving and was so bright I kept thinking it was a car coming towards me with its lights on full beam, I kept jumping out of the way and every time I would realise straight away it was a street light and I would laugh and laugh until I wore out and fell asleep. Elizabeth found me asleep in the garden, she shook me awake.
“We’ve got to stop seeing each other like this,” I said.
Elizabeth laughed and helped me up, “we would if you stopped getting so high.”
“It’s Logan’s fault.”
Once again she put me in her car and drove me home, I hoped she was sober. Now that I’m sober, the fact I thought that makes me laugh.
8 April 2010
Sorry I haven’t written to you in a while, I’ve been busy. Two days after Logan’s party was my mum’s birthday. She would have been forty five; dad and I went and visited her grave. It was hard. I sat in the car while dad went and talked, and then I went. I told her everything that had been happening, I told her about Elizabeth and Logan and the beating dad gave for skipping school. I told her about the drugs and parties. I knew she probably wouldn’t have been happy with me, but somehow I didn’t mind. Dad and I left flowers for her, and dad hugged me as we both cried.
I think you’ll be pleased to hear, I haven’t skipped school in a month and I’ve been passing everything. I still smoke with Logan and Elizabeth at lunch time and after school though. Also I haven’t smoked weed in two weeks. I’m not as happy as I was though. A month ago my life was exciting, going to parties, doing drugs and getting drunk and hanging out with Elizabeth. Now, it just seems boring, I’m a normal-ish kid now. I haven’t been doing drugs, I’ve only been to one party, but it was boring because I was sober and I’d forgotten what that felt like at a party, and I don’t hang out with Elizabeth outside of school anymore because she’s always with John from Telecom. She still doesn’t know I have a crush on her. I think I might tell her though.
22 April 2010
We had a career advisor come to our school today; I’ve decided I want to be a writer because I enjoy it and I’m really good at English. I think I might write fantasy and romance novels for teens.
So I told Elizabeth, she didn’t seem to mind. She smiled actually but, she told me I wasn’t allowed to like her that way, “that’s an order,” she said. She is too old for me, she claimed, which is silly because she’s only two years older than me. I will try my best though. Honest. I want her to be happy. She seems happy with John from Telecom and that makes me happy in a way. I started helping Logan with his English, even though It’s NCEA level 3 and I’m level 1. We got a merit on his first assessment. He bought me two packets of smokes as a thank you. I could get used to that. My birthday is coming up, so Elizabeth has started teaching me about driving so that I can get my licence on the day. This is fun, but it makes it very hard to stop liking her. This is not fun. I do not know what to do.
22 May 2010
My dad’s birthday has just been, he turned forty nine. I bought him a Fleetwood Mac CD and some earphones. He liked them and was happy, which made me happy. I’m still helping Logan with English. He’s smarter already, which is awesome. He barely needs me anymore. He still buys me two packets of cigarettes a week. My favourite part of my weeks at the moment is the time Elizabeth and I have together. I know everything there is to know about driving a car now, but I still act dumbstruck with some things so that she keeps teaching me. I think she knows though, I don’t think she cares because we talk about other things anyway. She told me all about things that are going on with John from Telecom. He’s left Telecom and is now with Vodafone. Traitor. She told me about her favourite songs and bands. Her favourite song is Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners and her favourite band is Foo Fighters. I think these things are really cool because we like the same songs and bands. She also plans to go to Victoria University in Wellington to major in Philosophy. I still like her, but I try not to show it. I like her more and more every day. I hope John from Vodafone treats her well. If he doesn’t, I plan to break his nose, even if he is five years older than me. I haven’t told anyone this.
16 June 2010
Yesterday was my birthday; I’m now officially sixteen and a learner driver. I didn’t get any questions wrong in my test thanks to Elizabeth. Last night was great, I didn’t do any drugs, but I got drunk which was fun. I got “perfectly shit faced” to quote Logan. This means I got wasted, but not so wasted that I was spewing and didn’t remember anything this morning. The gift giving was the best part, Logan gave me two packets of cigarettes and a book about writing, Daniel gave a thirty dollar gift card for The Warehouse, Hannah gave me a t-shirt that said I’m with Stupid to wear when I’m with Logan, at least that’s what she said. This raised a laugh from all of us. Elizabeth’s present was the best. She gave it to me when we were alone in my room. I should point out before I carry on that my dad was kind enough to give me the house for the night. We had our own celebration the night before. Anyway, Elizabeth placed a large box on my desk, it was wrapped very nicely and there was a ribbon tied on top.
“I didn’t want anything big,” I said, but I was too excited to care.
I took the paper off the box nicely; I didn’t want to ruin her wrapping. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. It was the most perfect gift I have ever been given. It was an old typewriter; it would have been expensive in its day. I smiled wildly, I was so happy.
“Where’d you find this?” I was stunned and happy at the same time.
“I did some digging,” She replied.
I pulled her into a huge hug, I didn’t want to let go, she smelt so good, like vanilla. And I was so happy. When the hug ended, Elizabeth looked at me seriously.
“Have you ever kissed a girl, Mark?” She said.
I felt a little awkward when Elizabeth asked me this. We were really close friends, but we never talked about the intimate things in her relationship so the subject had never come up before. I shook my head no. I wasn’t sure how else to react, I sat on my bed.
“Would you like to?” She said, softly.
I nodded my head yes. I stayed very quiet.
“Do you love me, Mark?”
I felt like I had just been slapped in the face. I stayed quiet for a while, still trying to wrap my head around the question. Elizabeth waited patiently for my answer.
“What do you mean?” I managed.
“You know what I mean,” she answered straight away.
It was true I did know what she meant, but I wasn’t sure how to answer. She has a boyfriend.
“Just forget about John for a second,” she said, as if she read my mind.
And so I did, I forgot about John from Vodafone for just a second and let it all out. I explained how I wasn’t sure what is yet, but she meant the world to me and I cared for her deeply, and how I knew that she told me not to like her, but I couldn’t stop no matter how hard I tried. I told her how before I met her, my mum was my favourite person in the world. When I had stopped talking, Elizabeth leaned in and kissed me on the lips. A real kiss. Not a peck. A real kiss. It was so nice; I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
“I just wanted to make sure the first girl that kissed you, loved you,” Elizabeth whispered.
This is the best moment in my life.
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